end of greenEND OF GREEN – ‘Painstream’
After 21-years in the business End Of Green have finally been snapped up to a label with an international presence, which should allow them to expand beyond their metal-hotbed home nation of Germany.  Their first release on Napalm is hitting stores as we speak and has the mix of Metal, Alternative, Goth, and Pop that took them to 17 in the German Album charts with their last opus, High Hopes in Low Places.  One thing immediately apparent is the subject matter that they write about, centres firmly on two of life’s constants; Pain & Passion and because of this, ‘Painstream’ is a dark and moody picture while offering a glimmer of light at the end that seemingly makes the pain worthwhile.  Heavy subject matter maybe and although it isn’t a concept album per-se, it does feel like one at times.  Opener ‘Hangman’s Joke’ is an immediate and fast affair that lulls you into a false sense of security with it’s surprisingly positive outlook.  The vocal skills of Michelle Darkness are boldly apparent and aptly supported by axe-man Sad Sir who displays the skills necessary to pull slow and dark songs out, like ‘Holidays in Hell’, ‘Death of a Weakener’ and ‘Miss Misery’. Often the melodies have a pop-esque catchiness to them but this is always with a weight of grinding guitars and heavy drums behind it – perhaps most notably on ‘Standalone’ which has a heavy foundation riff combined with a highly melodic and shout-along chorus.  ‘De(ad)generation’ and ‘Chasing Ghosts’ follow the same path and as the album progresses, they slow the pace down and offer up a sensitive side on ‘Final Resistance’ – a track designed to get under your skin and stay there, while ‘Home On Fire’ has one of the best guitar loops we’ve heard in a long time.  Painstream does enough to cater to for the fans from the fatherland, but whether it will be the breakout album they deserve remains to be seen.  There are no surprises, but plenty of punch and well worth a punt.  (7)



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